By Amy E. Feldman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – If an employee knows the workplace will be raucous before she accepts an offer, can she sue later?
An employer at a water ice store got the teenagers to sign waivers stating that if they broke the rules they authorized him to spank them, which he did, and claimed later that they were barred from suing him.
Can a company with a salty environment ask employees to sign a waiver in advance stating that they know what they’re in for before starting work and waive the right to sue later?
If employers could eliminate discrimination, harassment, and other laws simply by getting employees to sign prospective waivers claiming they couldn’t sue for what they were about to be getting themselves into, they would certainly have thought of it. But they can’t.
While you can come to a settlement agreement ending claims against a company in exchange for payment once a dispute arises, you can’t waive all of your rights and give your employer carte blanche to abuse you ahead of time. Companies protect themselves by creating a workplace that doesn’t violate the law in the first place rather than trying to avoid getting spanked in court, later.